Series: The Spat Family

Director: Jay A. Howe
Producer: Hal Roach

Stars: Frank Butler, Laura Roessing, Sidney D'Albrook
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 30 November 1924
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: F-18
Filming dates: July 21-23, 1924
Rating: 2/10

Deaf, Dumb And Daffy

Tewksberry Spat, his wife and her brother Ambrose are erecting their tents on the lawn. When Tewksberry (who named their kid 'TEWKSBERRY' anyway?) accidentally hits Ambrose with the mallet, Ambrose and Mrs. Spat decide to leave him to it and go inside one of the tents where Ambrose ends up head-first in a pale of water after Tewksberry (what a stupid name) whacks him over the head from the outside. Unperturbed, Tewksy continues to use his rubbet mallet to hit a ground peg but misses every time even after he ties a piece of wood to the shaft. This goes on and on and on for 5 minutes! The simple-minded viewers are led to believe that the cause of the moving peg is a squirrel underneath the ground which attacks Tewksy's face when he plants it to the ground to inspect the disturbance. His misery continues when Ambrose throws the empty pale out of the door flap and it hits Tewksy in the face as he enters.
A group of people enter the tent with picnic baskets and start laying out their food on a tray. The hungry gardener arrives and starts helping himself to all the food whilst Tewksy's back is turned, even stealing it in plain sight of him when challenged. After clearing out all the food, the gardener is invited by Mrs. Spat to come and try the lemonade. He drinks the whole lot through a straw before returning to the tent and pushing Ambrose into an obviously-positioned pie on a stool. Ambrose launches the pie at the gardener, who ducks as it strikes a woman in the face as she walks in. Tewksy goes to fetch some water but when he turns on the tap it activates the sprinklers which soaks everybody in the tent. A truck driver turns up and he gets clobbered by Tewksy accidentally. The driver then reverses his truck into the tent and the procedes in dragging it, and everybody in it, along the street. It ends with Tewksy having his head wrapped around a frying pan and Ambrose trying to free him.

Favourite bit
This guy takes the piss. Well, the lemonade at least.

Copyrighted December 3, 1924.
The 17th film in the series to be released.
The opening shot of the family pitching their tents on the lawn was shot outside the Hal Roach Admin building, as was most of the film.
The truck driver is driving a vehicle with Patten & Davies Lumber Co. on the side of it.
My first thought on the guy playing the truck driver was that it is Hal Roach himself but after consultation with Richard W. Bann, who studied the footage upon my request, he concluded that it was definitely not Hal Roach but suggested it may be Jack Roach?
My opinion
Excrutiatingly slow and painful to watch. Every scene is milked for a time-stretching purpose which becomes quite obvious early on. There is no quality, no comedy, no cleavage shots, and just no interest whatsoever. Glad I got to see it, but that'll do it for me. No need to ever torture myself ever again with this one. Absolute crap. And yes, I can say that on this website.

Frank Butler
Tewksberry Spat
Laura Roessing
Mrs. Spat
Sidney D'Albrook
Brother Ambrose
Jules Mendel
The hungry gardener
Helen Gilmore
Pie victim
Elderly woman in tent
First young woman in tent
Second young woman in tent
Man in tent
Truck driver

INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

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John Benson (publicity material; review copy of the film)

This page was last updated on: 17 January 2023